Arago: 4-cent Taft

4-cent Taft

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was the only man to ever serve as both president and chief justice of the United States. He appeared in the Series of 1922 beginning in 1930, when a stamp bearing his image appeared. The Taft stamp replaced the Martha Washington stamp issued in 1923. It was issued in Taft’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 4, 1930, less than three months after his death.

Stamp designer Clair Aubrey Huston based the vignette on a photograph of Taft taken while he was chief justice, an office he preferred to the presidency. Taken by the Washington studio of Harris & Ewing, the portrait shows Taft in his judicial robe. The vignette was engraved by John Eissler. Edward M. Hall and Joachim C. Benzing engraved the frame. This stamp is the only one in the Series of 1922 to be printed exclusively on the Stickney rotary press. It exists in a coil version as well as sheet format.

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